My Myriad: Gwen Turner, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Engagement
At Myriad Genetics, we’re proud to deliver clinically actionable genetic information in the areas of oncology, women’s health, and mental health. We’ve served millions of customers so far — and that wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing people who bring our mission to life every day.
We’re pleased to launch a new series on the Myriad Genetics blog. Each “My Myriad” post will profile one of our impressive team members to give you a better sense of the people behind the logo. Today we start with Gwen Turner, Head of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Engagement. She recently joined the company after a remarkable career path in pharma, healthcare, and academia.
Q: What’s your role at Myriad Genetics?
A: I am the head of diversity, equity, inclusion, and engagement. I am also leading Myriad’s commitment to environmental, social and governance matters (ESG). I am excited about where our industry is headed and the contributions that I can make to diversify the scientific workforce and ensure equity in how we perform research and provide solutions to patients. What we do is not about giving everyone the same thing; it’s about understanding the needs of all patients and giving them what they need individually – equity in science is exciting and fulfilling work!
Q: What drew you to the company?
A: I had a strong desire to join a company that is highly innovative in the biotech and precision medicine industry and enhancing the lives of people through cutting-edge technology. This is the future of medicine and science, and I want to be on this journey with Myriad Genetics. I also have the unique opportunity to work on the important work of ESG. There is more focus on this work than ever before, and I have a great opportunity to make an impact on this work and design our path forward.
Q: What are some of your goals for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Myriad Genetics?
A: There are so many! My goals include fostering belonging, increasing representation, leading in corporate social responsibility, and providing equity and access for all patients. I also want to create an environment where all teammates feel like they belong and can contribute to our business objectives, and to increase diversity representation at all levels of the organization with a stronger pipeline through career development and boosting engagement. Ultimately, I want Myriad Genetics to stand out as a leader in corporate social responsibility. In addition to our moral imperative to do the right thing, we also know that diverse organizations are better performing and more profitable than organizations that are not. As it relates to ESG, my goal is to assess what we are currently doing, create goals for the next three years and publish our first ESG report with our Board of Directors.
Q: How did you get into this kind of work?
A: My family legacy has helped shaped me personally and professionally. I am a descendant of slaves, my grandparents were sharecroppers in the South, and my parents lived in the South during Jim Crow. The work of inclusion is highly personal to me and I have a passion to lead change in our community. Early in my career, I worked for companies that had strong ties to social justice, civic, and environmental causes. Through that work, I realized the major impact corporations make to our communities and I believe that they should be accountable for responding to the needs of their customers.
Q: Many companies say they’re committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, but they don’t all follow through. How will you help Myriad Genetics demonstrate its commitment over time?
A: My plan is to help the organization create a strategic roadmap for inclusion and hold ourselves accountable to those goals and objectives. In order to move forward in a powerful way, we may need to do some things that are uncomfortable. Making intentional efforts to diversity hiring, stretching ourselves to learn about each other, and mentoring our talented pipeline are all things we will need to lean in on to create a culture of inclusion. Accountability will be key at every single level of our organization.
Q: How will the company be celebrating Juneteenth this year?
A: Our celebration will take place on June 17 and will feature a webinar hosted by our employee resource group Black Employees at Myriad. The webinar presentation will be given by Dr. Alvin Tillery, Director of the Center for Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University, and focus on the pursuit of racial equality from Juneteenth to now. The session is open to all employees.
Q: What’s Myriad Genetics doing for Pride Month?
A: So many awesome things! Our company Pride Group will be sponsoring a webinar that celebrates and educates on the rich, diverse tapestry of the LGBTQ+IA community. The webinar will be hosted on June 22 and is open to all teammates. We will also feature colleagues via social media who will talk about allyship and what that means to them, and we are planning to have a collection of social media collateral that teammates can use all month long.
Q: Myriad Genetics has a long history of charitable giving. What’s your favorite part of this program?
A: The company has a great history of giving in the Salt Lake City area. We have historically partnered with an array of organizations, from tech companies to breast cancer advocacy groups. I love that Myriad is finding ways to make connections for our business and with people in our own community. My goal for Myriad as we amplify the work in ESG is to bring more awareness to the causes that we support and align those causes to our business objectives. Finding creative ways to support the community is our obligation as a company – I am grateful that our company leadership and Board of Directors actively support the work we do in the community.